Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout
Central Waters Brewing Co.

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #2,019
Ranked #15,672
3.87 | pDev: 11.37%
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States
Very Good
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout
Notes: We throw 75 pounds of tart Door County cherries into each oak barrel with a rich imperial stout, then age it 6 months.
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Reviews: 281 | Ratings: 855
Reviews by Tricerahops:
Photo of Tricerahops
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of CrellMoset
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle courtesy of czoch74 - a huge thanks to a great trader. Poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark obsidian, not quite pitch black, with a number of less intense hues are showcased around the peripheries when you hold it up the light. The head leaves a little to be desired - the half-finger of moderately tanned head fizzes and surges and quickly fades down in to a thin collar of delicate, compact lace and an oblong swath of floating lacing.

Aroma: Most decidedly a stout, with plenty of toast, cocoa, dark, roasted, heavily-caramelized sugars, and earth tones. Olfactory earth tones, that is. Both sweet and tart cherries - I'd say about a 1:1 ratio - compliment the base beer nicely, and a fair amount of bourbon spice creeps through about mid-whiff and hangs around 'til the end.

Taste: The most pleasant aspect of this brew is that it actually IS very stout-like. There is a strong, solid stout underneath the embellishments that characterize this beer - heavy toasted malts, dark toffee, faint chocolate, and earthy tones are all highly prevalent. The next most obvious note - perhaps even more obvious than the last - is a moderately tart, juicy cherry note, authentic, reasonably well-integrated, and complimented fairly well by the chocolate overtones attributed to the base beer (who doesn't like chocolate cherries?). The bourbon is an afterthought, nearly - there's a faint spiciness in the very finish of this one, and a fair amount of wooden earthiness that belies this one's barrel origin - but, by and large, this is a cherry stout, and a fairly fine-tasting one at that.

Mouthfeel: A largely "dead" beer - that is, one with minimal carbonation in a relatively thick (but not syrupy or cloying) body - but I think it works well with the flavor profile, which I'd have to classify as tending more towards the "dessert" side of things. Also a plus - hardly any after-feel, so it's a very clean, fresh sipping beer.

Drinkability: A solid and enjoyable brew, reasonably complex, deceptively drinkable (no abv% listed, but I'd estimate it at between 8% and 9%), and an overall good effort from Central Waters. Most things worked fairly well - I'd have liked a little more of this here, and a little less of that there - but on the whole, CW has done a good job with what is in actuality a remarkably difficult combination of flavors and components to pull off expertly (cherries aren't pumpkins, but they're not exactly cocoa nibs either). Recommended, if this is your thing.

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Photo of WiscoTerr
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Released and picked up today, been wanting to try this for a long time. Poured into a tulip.
Look-Murky brown/reddish tint to this beer. With 75 lbs of cherries per barrel, no doubt that's the color. Not the best looking, but no matter.
Smell-Slightly tart and bourbon. Not a huge nose on this beer, pretty subtle.
Taste-Was not expecting this. For the longest time in my head I was thinking this would be a sweeter stout, but leans very much to the tart side. Bourbon up front, and as the beer warms a cherry flavor mid-palate. Beer finishes with a tart and even sour cherry flavor.
Feel-Not an overly heavy beer like some other big stouts like this. A bit more carbonation which lends well to the overall flavor. Beer doesn't sit on the tongue to long, which is nice in a beer like this. Makes it an easy drinker.
Overall-I really like this. Better as it warms, and was on the fence at first. When I got over the fact that it was sour instead of sweet, I kept wanting more. Will be trying to track down another 4-pack today.

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Photo of stakem
3.29/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 12oz bottle poured into a tulip appears black in color with brown clarity around the edges. A tan cap barely forms and holds with just a ring around the perimeter.

Aroma comtains milk chocolate, licorice, faint cherry, leather, earth and a hint of oxidation.

The taste has fruity cherry upfront but almost an underripe cherry/pitted/earthen flavor. Some leathery notes with really no barrel character to speak of. The roastiness of the grain fills the flavor void.

This is medium to lighter in body with moderate to low carbonation. Its not terrible but its also not what I expected. cherry - yup. stout - ok. barrel - where?

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Photo of tpd975
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SeaBass for this one.

A: Pours a nice dark charcoal black hue with a small tan head. No real retention or lace.

S: Tons of bitter dark cherry, fudge, and oaky barrel.

T: Bitter dark cherry, and rich fudge. The barrel comes out in the finish. Fresh oak, vanilla, and a touch of booze.

M: Medium to full in body. Smooth, rich, tasty.

D: Real tasty, One to sit down with and relish.

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Photo of BMart
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Fargrow
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of bobanddoug
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of joe1510
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
Steve's Madison

This big barrel aged cherry stout pours the blackest of blacks with a nice dense two finger head that falls quickly to a skimming and thick collar. After each sip the head leaves behind same random lines of sticky patchwork lacing. This is a good looking stout.

The smell is loaded with the big stoutness you'd expect. The oak jumps out first and is somewhat damp with a slight sour component. A deeper pull brings out vanilla and semi sweet cherries that combine perfectly. The stout underneath is mildly roasty with a touch of leafy hoppiness. This stout pulls me directly in.

The flavor is a little milder then I expected. Mildly roasted maltiness start things off with before the damp whiskey soaked oak seeps in while adding vanilla and some mildly sweet cherry syrup. The vanilla comes around nicely mid palate while the cherry works in the back throughout the entire drink. This is a damn good stout from Central Waters.

Moderately thick body with a soft but moderate carbonation allow this beer to feel creamy on the tongue while moving through quick enough to keep from turning stale. A little roasty bitterness ends the drink.

The drinkability on this beer is up there with the best barrel aged beers. The body is light enough to keep it flowing while the booze is never noticeable. This beer goes down far too easy.

This is another good beer from an underrated Wisconsin brewery. Central Waters makes some great beer and this is no exception. I hope to pick more of this up on my next trip to Wisconsin.

 1,556 characters

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on 4/7/11 into a Cigar City snifter.

Pours a nice dark hazy brown that is totally non- transparent. Head is off brown and dissipates quickly, like a Coke Classic on a sunny day.

Smells of coffee and fruit. A tinny bit of vanilla on the back side.

Taste is very inviting, great job. Lots of bourbon when fresh that gives way to a supper fruit flavor. Hops make an apperance but not much.

Mouthfeel is light to medium

Overal this is a good sipper on a cool MN evening.

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Photo of BadgerRedAl
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with weak foam. Strong black cherry nose is appealing. Medicinal cherry and strong bourbon taste at first, then finishes bitter. Good mouth feel, like other CW stouts, but hard to get past the overpowering cherry. Overall I wasn't impressed, the strong cherry really bastardizes an otherwise delicious BBS from CW. I do appreciate the effort to brew a cherry bourbon stout and hope CW refines its recipe in the future.

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Photo of Jrodsmrs51
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark brownish black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that rapidly dissipated, leaving just a minuscule collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bourbon are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of cherries and bourbon along with faint hints of the underlying stout.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with some hints of warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer is exceptionally drinkable considering its strength because it masks all of the alcohol from the taste and the mouthfeel isn't that heavy compared to other stouts.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of DVMin98
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Aged 2 years. Nice and tart cherry. Great aftertaste. Bourbon isn't as prominent but still really nice

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Photo of kvgomps
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Feldpausch
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of elec
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of shagens
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of SSGCujo
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of largadeer
3.26/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared by chswimmer. Thanks, Craig.

Dark murky blackish-brown...almost crimson hued. A small leather-colored head forms, never really rising to a decent height. It eventually settles to a thin collar.

Chocolate-caramel candy aroma with a wallop of sweet cherries, a bit of bourbon, some solventy alcohol. Meh.

Tootsie roll and cherry candy flavor is prominent. Some caramel and bourbon, oak tannins. Pretty boozy. Dries up in the mid-palate with a bit of tart cherry and chocolate flavors sticking to the tongue in the finish. This is OK, it's kind of like a mediocre Cherry Adam from the Wood.

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Photo of rjacobs6
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of JohnnieNepal
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Brewding_n_deep
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A nice beer, but not what I was hoping it would be. Bought a 4-pack and have spaced them out over the last 8 months.

Look: Dark with some redness to it, looks a bit like a flat cherry coke.
Smell: Booze (big surprise) a malt extract kind of smell, roasted but nothing special.
Taste: it's a Bourbon Stout, you figure it out... Now, having made a milk stout with the same strain of cherries (former Wisconsinite) I know their flavor, and I felt like they went overboard, but they're the pro's. It brings a nice non-hop (but hop adjacent) flavor, which is what makes stouts so fun.
Feel: Think flat soda... found myself wishing it had thickness, would've really helped the beer.

Nice beer, but I won't be chasing after it again.

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Photo of deebo
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This year's version poured into an oversized snifter, the inch of tan head quickly recedes to a ringing of head atop a dark brown brew.
Aroma of bourbon soaked cherries with roasted malt. Pretty subdued for a BB beer from CW.
Taste is like the aroma but you get more of the barrel character-oaky. Has a fair amount of tartness in the finish.
Mouthfeel is a lighter than expected with a warming finish.
Overall not nearly as rich in body or flavors as compared to the BB stout or barleywine. A bit of a letdown but still drinkable.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 855 ratings